Harvest 2014: it is what it is

by Laura Gray on October 5, 2014

Racing against the rainNon siamo padroni noi dell’uva, è la stagione che fa da padrone”

We are not masters of the grape, it’s the season that calls the shots.

Marco pronounced these  words, two days after we finished our 2014 harvest.

2014 was hard; a series of slaps in the face from Mother Nature in the form of a warm winter, dry June, wet July and cold August. We quadrupled our normal labour costs, thinning bunches, dropping fruit and stripping leaves multiple times and were successful in avoiding mould in all our vineyards. We decided to start picking on 29th September after determining that the grapes were physiologically unable to mature further and in fear of the heavy rain that did indeed fall on the afternoon of 1st October. The harvest was a three day scramble, the culmination of nine months of work in the vineyards.

In spite of our picking healthy grapes and winning our race against the rain, sugar levels were alarmingly low and the colour is not what we look for in a Brunello. As the wine started to ferment, filling the cellar with a sweet and pervading aroma, it became clear that although the must is decent and we do have the minimum alcohol level for a Brunello, most of our barrels do not contain a wine that will benefit from four years of wood ageing or will be worthy of joining the ranks of our Brunello production.

Although it is early days, we already know that if anything, there will only be an extremely small production of Il Palazzone 2014 Brunello in 2019. Until now we have never skipped producing a vintage and we believe firmly in the power of good husbandry in the vineyard, obsessive canopy management and fruit thinning. This year it seems that this wasn’t enough; the season won in spite of our best efforts.

Sometimes it is what it is.

Luscious Sangiovese Harvest 2014

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